Unofficial translation of
The Closing Statement of
the Nineteenth Session of the GCC Supreme Council
The State of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Abu Dhabi
18-20 Shaa'ban 1419 AH / 7-9 December 1998 AD
In response to the gracious invitation by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al - Nahayan, President of the State of the UAE, the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) held its Nineteenth session in Abu Dhabi, the State of the UAE, from 18th to 20th Shaa'ban 1419 AH, corresponding to 7th -9th December under the Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al - Nahayan, President of the State of the UAE in the presence of Their Majesties and Highnesses:
His Highness Sheikh Issa bin Salman Al - Khalifa,
Emir of the State of Bahrain
His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al - Saud,
Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister and
Head of the National Guard in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed,
Sultan of Oman
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al - Thani
Emir of the State of Qatar
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al - Ahmad Al - Jaber Al- Sabah
Emir of the State of Kuwait
H.E. Sheikh Jameel bin Ibrahim Al-Hejailan,
GCC Secretary-General, also participated in the meeting.
The Supreme Council examined the progress made in the process of joint cooperation in the security, military, economic, social and information fields since the Eighteenth session. It studied the reports and recommendations submitted by the Ministerial Council and affirmed the determination of the GCC states to push forward the collective march of the Cooperation Council towards broader horizons so as to accomplish more achievements in line with the hopes and aspirations of the GCC citizens so that security, stability and development may be attained in the region.
The Supreme Council highly appreciated the presence of His Excellency Nelson Mandela, the President of the Republic of South Africa, in the opening session as well as the valuable speech delivered by His Excellency on this occasion. The Council also appreciated the meeting, which was held during the session between the leaders of the GCC states and His Excellency in Abu Dhabi and praised the role played by the His Excellency in strengthening the excellent ties between the GCC states and the Republic of South Africa. The Supreme Council expressed its honor at the appreciation expressed by His Excellency for the GCC and its regional and international role, wishing for His Excellency President Mandela happiness and success in his private and public life in the coming years.
The Supreme Council also highly appreciated the speech of His Excellency the French President Jaque Chirac, addressed to the leaders of the GCC states and broadcasted in the opening session, the speech in which His Excellency expressed his friendship and appreciation for the Cooperation Council.
The Supreme Council was pleased with the participation of His Excellency Kofi Anan, Secretary - General of the United Nations (UN), in the opening session and highly appreciated the speech delivered by His Excellency as well as the meeting held between the leaders of the GCC and His Excellency, expressing its support and backing for the activities of the UN, and extolling its leadership role in the international relations, the role that serves the cause of international peace & security as well as economic, social, and human development of all nations and peoples of the world. Further, the Supreme Council expressed its honor at the appreciation and respect manifested by His Excellency for the Cooperation Council and at his recognition of its importance in consolidating security, stability and development in the region.
Similarly, the Supreme Council appreciated the presence of His Excellency Ismat Abdul Majeed, Secretary - General of the League of Arab States, and His Excellency Izzuddin Al Iraqi, Secretary - General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), in the opening session of Eighteenth session of the Supreme Council of the GCC as well as the valuable consultations and meetings, which were held with the leaders of the GCC states.
The Process of Joint Cooperation:
Holding Semi-Annual Consultative Meeting of the Supreme Council: The Supreme Council resolved to hold brotherly meetings of Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC states between two summits.
The Supreme Council approved the decisions submitted to it by Their Highnesses and Excellencies the Ministers of Defense of the GCC states, which were adopted in their 17th meeting held in Riyadh with regard to developing the Dira' Al Jazeerah (Peninsula Shield) Forces, and to follow up of the implementation of the secure communication network, radar coverage, early warning system and other areas of military cooperation. The Supreme Council expressed its satisfaction at the steps that have been taken and stressed upon the importance of continuing to implement all military cooperation programs aimed at bolstering the collective defense capabilities.
The Supreme Council approved the decisions made in the Seventeenth meeting of Their Highnesses and Excellencies the Interior Ministers of the GCC states held in the State of Kuwait from 3rd to 4th November 1998 AD, and expressed its satisfaction at the coordination and cooperation that was realized in the different spheres of the cooperation process in the field of security, particularly that which is related to the collective fight against the phenomena of violence and terrorism as well as the development of programs for vocational training & technical education in the reformatories and corrective institutions.
The Supreme Council studied the situation of the petroleum markets and its effects on the economies of the GCC states due to the decline in oil prices. The Council reiterated the keen desire of the GCC states to stabilize the petroleum market and to improve prices. It also stressed upon the importance of abiding by the pledge made by the oil producing countries in June 1998 AD to cut down production in order to achieve improvement in prices. And, based on this, the Council agreed to extend the enforceability of the reduction of production as pledged by the states until the end of 1999 AD. Moreover, the Supreme Council urged the other oil producing countries to take similar steps to achieve market stability, as therein lies the interests of producing and consuming countries as well as the safety and stability of the world economy. The Council further asserted that in the event of other countries abiding by their pledge to cut down production, the GCC states would be ready to enter into appropriate arrangements with other oil exporting countries in order to restore the stability of the market. In this regard, the Supreme Council decided to entrust the Petroleum Cooperation Committee to intensify contacts in order to achieve this goal.
In preparation for the new round of trade negotiations within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which are scheduled to begin in the year 2000, the Supreme Council entrusted the Petroleum Cooperation Committee and the Trade Cooperation Committee with the task of studying the effects and feasibility of placing petroleum among the imported products in the sectoral initiatives in which, the countries are committed to granting absolute exemption from customs tariff within the framework of the WTO.
The Supreme Council reviewed the process of joint economic cooperation, and followed - up the steps that have been taken with the goal of launching the Customs Union among the GCC states, and approved a timeline for completing this Union, bringing it into effect as of 1st March 2001 AD. Towards this end, the Council entrusted the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee with the task of reaching an agreement on the uniform custom tariff by not later than December 1999 AD.
Desirous of achieving a balance in the demographic make up and the labor structure of the GCC states, a balance that would lead to increased rate of economic participation by the citizens, the Supreme Council ratified the document, " The General Framework of the Population Strategy for the GCC states."
In order to meet the challenges of comprehensive development and its demands, and to draw the broad outlines dealing with these challenges during the first quarter of the 21st century by outlining the strategic development goals, paths and mechanisms necessary for its implementation in the GCC states, the Supreme Council ratified the document, " Long - Term Comprehensive Development Strategy for the GCC states (2000-2025 AD)".
With a view to consolidating the process of industrial development in the GCC states, and to back the efforts for bringing about industrial cooperation among them on integrative principles and to increase the contribution of the industrial sector in the national income, the Supreme Council approved the "Unified Strategy for Industrial Development" in its amended form.
As part of the effort to complete the standardization of the economic regulations in the GCC states, the Supreme Council approved the Agricultural Quarantine Regulation, and the Veterinary Quarantine Regulation, terming them as mandatory regulations since the two regulations had been implemented as reference model regulations during the past years.
In order to bring about advancement of the Accounting & Auditing profession and to develop its standards in the GCC states, the Supreme Council approved the Basic Regulation for the Accounting and Auditing Commission of the GCC states.
With a view to protecting the human health and environmental safety, the Supreme Council endorsed the recommendations calling for the expeditious production of lead - free gasoline (benzene) and to market it in the GCC states within the time period not exceeding the year 2002, and to take all steps to bring down the percentage of sulfur in diesel, which is produced in the national refineries so as to be able to match with the most advanced international standards in this field.
The Supreme Council welcomed the establishment of the patents office and the start of its functioning. This confirms the Council's interest in protecting the intellectual property rights.
The Supreme Council assessed the economic situation of the GCC states and affirmed its keen desire for the continuous improvement of the investment environment, thereby strengthening the productive capacities of the member states and increasing the job opportunities for the citizens. The Council lauded the active participation of the private sector in the various economic sectors and activities.
In the field of broadening the circle of relationship with other countries and international economic blocs, the Supreme Council appreciated the efforts exerted to develop and deepen the dialogue and negotiations with these countries and blocs in order to ensure the shared economic and investment interests and eliminate obstacles preventing the reaching of the GCC exports to these blocs and international markets.
The Consultative Commission of the Supreme Council: Upon establishing the Consultative Commission of the Supreme Council, the Supreme Council expressed its happiness with the start of its functioning, and entrusted it with the task of studying the employment and hiring of the national labor and facilitation of its mobility between the Member States so as to increase the job opportunities for the citizens and the inhabitants of GCC states.
Humanitarian and Environmental Affairs:
The Supreme Council decided that the Education and Training Ministers of the GCC states should undertake a comprehensive study with the objective of developing the curricula in order to strengthen the correlation between the educational curricula with that which fulfils the needs of the member states, thus enhancing the progress of the GCC and helping to achieve its goals.
The Supreme Council took cognizance of the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the Information Ministers of the GCC states held in November 1998 AD and approved the recommendations submitted to it in order to support and activate the media activities among the media organizations of the GCC states, and decided that these media organizations should continue to keep pace with the international developments in the field of media affairs in a manner that it conforms to the goals of the Cooperation Council.
The Higher Committee for Cooperation between the State of Qatar and the State of the UAE:
The Supreme Council reviewed the Agreement on the formation of the Higher Committee for Cooperation between the State of Qatar and the State of the UAE, which was signed in Doha on 17th Shaa'ban 1419 AH, corresponding to 6th December 1998 A.D. The Council welcomed this Agreement for what it contains in terms of the interests and well being of the two peoples and their countries, considering it to be a blessed and important step which supports and strengthens the joint process and fits in with the higher goals of the GCC states.
- Implementation by Iraq of the Security Council Resolutions pertaining to its aggression against the State of Kuwait: The Supreme Council discussed the latest developments in the course of Iraq's implementation of the Security Council resolutions pertaining to its aggression on the State of Kuwait. The Council noted the successive creation of crises by the Iraqi Government with the United Nations and the consequent tension and dangers it causes for the security and stability of the region. In this regard, the Supreme Council expressed its satisfaction at the defusing of the latest crisis between Iraq and the United Nations due to the decision of the Iraqi Government to reverse its decisions taken on 5th August 1998 A.D. and 31st October 1998 A.D. to discontinue cooperation with the United Nations Special Committee (UNSCOM) and the International Agency For Nuclear Energy (IAEA). The Iraqi Government has now decided to resume cooperation with the UN inspectors in accordance with the mechanism outlined in the Security Council resolutions and the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Iraqi Government and the UN Secretary - General in February 1998 A.D. This has saved the Iraqi people and the region from additional dangers and will buttress the pillars of security and stability. The Council affirmed its support for the UNSCOM, which has been assigned internationally to disarm Iraq of all its weapons of mass destruction, and for the efforts of the IAEA. Further, the Supreme Council stressed upon the need for the Iraqi Government to comply with all the international resolutions, strictly and honestly, without any conditions or exceptions, in particular those aspects of the resolutions, which are related to the elimination of all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction; and the release of all prisoners and detainees of the State of Kuwait and those of other countries; and the return of all Kuwaiti assets; and compliance with resolution 949 requiring Iraq to desist from any aggressive or provocative act against the State of Kuwait and other neighboring countries in a bid to mitigate the sanctions being imposed on Iraq and to alleviate the sufferings of the brotherly people of Iraq, the sufferings for which the Iraqi Government bears the sole responsibility, and one which is also painful for the GCC states, prompting them to welcome the oil for food program aimed at meeting the food and medicinal requirements of the brotherly people of Iraq. The Supreme Council also welcomed the Security Council resolution 1210 for renewing the oil for food program. The GCC states have welcomed and shall continue to welcome all initiatives that aim at assuaging the suffering of the Iraqi people.
The Supreme Council renewed what it had stated in its previous sessions, and what it had expressed in the successive statements: Iraq must confess in a clear and frank manner that its invasion and occupation of the State of Kuwait constitutes a violation of the inter- Arab and International Charters and laws including, the Arab League Charter, the Common Arab Defense Pact and the UN Charter. The Council renewed its call on Iraq to take necessary steps to demonstrate its peaceful intentions, in words and deeds, towards the State of Kuwait and other neighboring countries so that security and stability may be achieved for all the countries of the region.
In this context, the Supreme Council reaffirmed its abiding position that the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq must be preserved.
The Issue of Occupation of the Three Islands of the State of the UAE and the relations with Iran:
A. The Issue of Occupation of the Three Islands of the State of the UAE:
The Supreme Council considered the latest developments with regard to the issue of the Iranian occupation of the three islands, the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, belonging to the State of the UAE. While noting the continual claims by Iran with regard to the three islands, claims which are unacceptable, and the continuation of the Iranian measures aimed perpetuating the occupation, the Council reiterated the need for the Iranian Government to respond positively to the numerous, solemn and sincere calls, issued from the State of the UAE, the Damascus Declaration countries and the Arab League as well as other regional and international organizations and blocs, to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner, an act that would earn the Government of President Mohammad Khatami the credibility necessary for building mutual trust , promotion of cooperation and preservation of security and stability in the region.
In this connection, the Supreme Council renewed its affirmation about the sovereignty of the State of the UAE over its three islands, the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and the Council's absolute support for all measures and peaceful means being undertaken by the State of the UAE to regain its sovereignty over these islands. The Supreme Council calls on the Iranian Government to end its occupation of the three islands and to refrain from pursuing a policy of imposing a fait accompli by force and to stop carrying out the construction of Iranian installations with the objective of changing the demographic structure of the islands, and to reverse all measures, and to dismantle all installations established unilaterally on the three islands, and to pursue all peaceful means to solve the dispute in accordance with the principles and rules of international law, including the acceptance of the referral of the matter to the International Court of Justice.
B. Relations With Iran:
The Supreme Council undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the relations between the GCC states and Iran, and the outcomes of the bilateral contacts between the Member States and Iran since the last summit in light of the positions of the GCC which, are based on the recognition of the importance of having good relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the foundation of values and principles of good neighborliness, mutual respect, taking care of the shared interests, non - interference in the internal affairs, abandoning the use of force or the threat to use it, and solving conflicts by peaceful means. The Supreme Council expressed its belief that confidence building would be done by taking practical steps to solve the existing problems between the two sides in accordance with the principles and conventions of international law, foremost among those problems is the Iranian occupation of the three islands. The Council appealed to the Secretary - General of the United Nations to continue with his efforts to solve this issue and to patronize the negotiations.
It also invited the Iranian Government to respond seriously to the efforts of the UN Secretary - General so that security and stability may be achieved in the region.
The Middle East Peace Process:
The Supreme Council reviewed the developments in the Middle East Peace Process and welcomed the "Wye Plantation Agreement", which was concluded on 23rd October 1998 AD, between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides and which, represents an important and positive step and should be followed by steps towards implementation of all agreements signed between the concerned sides so as to preserve all the rights of the Arabs on the one hand and to ensure security, stability and a comprehensive and lasting peace for all the peoples of the region on the other. The Council expressed its appreciation of His Excellency President Clinton for the enormous efforts made by him in order to facilitate the two sides to reach that Agreement. In this regard, the Supreme Council urged Israel to complete the implementation of this agreement faithfully and precisely without any procrastination or postponement.
The Supreme Council affirmed that the desired peace cannot be attained except by the restoration of all the legitimate rights of the Arabs, compliance with resolutions of international law, the principles enunciated by the Madrid Conference and the principle of "land-for-peace" in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 425 and 426. It also re-affirmed that the peace will not be just, enduring and comprehensive unless the Palestinian people receive their legitimate national rights, foremost among those is the establishment of their independent state with Holy Jerusalem as its capital; and the need for the complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, including from the Syrian Golan Heights back to the border line existing on the 4th of June 1967 A. D. the Southern Lebanon and its West Biqaa area in line with the resolutions 425 and 426, without laying any pre-conditions or qualifications.
The Supreme Council expressed its categorical rejection and condemnation of the Israeli policy of building settlements in the occupied Arab territories and of the Israeli decisions to enlarge the geographic borders of the Holy Jerusalem and to change its demographic structure as it constitutes a violation of the international laws calling for non - recognition or acceptance of any situation resulting from the settlement activities in the occupied Arab territories, demanding from Israel to stop these activities and to desist from taking actions that negatively impact the final settlement agreement with the Palestinian side.
While the Council appreciates the efforts of the American Administration, the Russian Federation and the European Union along with its member countries for supporting the peace process and helping to bring it back on its right course, the Council appeals to these countries to intensify the effective roles in pressing Israel to abide by its pledges and on the need to resume negotiations on the Syrian track from where it broke down, as also on the Lebanese track so that peace, security and stability may be achieved for the region and its peoples.
- Elimination of the Weapons of Mass Destruction:
The Supreme Council renewed its appeal to the international community to work towards making the region, including the Gulf region, free from all types of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The Council reaffirmed the need for Israel to join the Nuclear Non - Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to subject all its nuclear installations to the international inspection system of the International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA).
- The Lockerbie Issue:
The Supreme Council followed the developments taking place with regard to the Lockerbie crisis and considered the positive response of concerned parties to the diplomatic initiatives aimed at resolving this issue, and expressed its hope that the recent visit made by His Excellency Mr. Kofi Anan to the Libyan Arab Republic would lead to the resolution of this issue.
- The Phenomena of Extremism, Violence and Terrorism:
The Supreme Council renewed its categorical rejection of all manifestations of extremism, violence and terrorism in all its forms and features, irrespective of its source, place, motivations or basis, and what it represents in terms of dangers and threats to the security, safety and stability of the nations, their citizens and residents. The Supreme Council reiterated the determination of the member states to confront this phenomenon and to oppose it through intensification of inter - communication, coordination and cooperation in the field of security, calling at the same time on all countries, in particular those which are linked to the GCC states by a bond of friendship and shared interests, to avoid sheltering the terrorist elements and groups or granting them political asylum, and to prevent them from exploiting the territories and laws of those countries for carrying out terrorist and subversive activities, and terrifying the innocent and peaceful people. The Supreme Council also renewed its call for concluding an international agreement on terrorism, affirming its conviction that the one and the ideal way to combat terrorism is through an international initiative agreed within the framework of the United Nations, an agreement that would guarantee the elimination of this world - wide phenomenon that causes the loss of life and property. In this context, the Supreme Council lauded the signing of the treaty on combating terrorism in April 1998 AD within the framework of the League of Arab States.
Extension of the term of His Excellency the Secretary - General:
The Supreme Council expressed its appreciation of the enormous efforts being exerted by His Excellency the Secretary - General and his active contributions towards strengthening the collective process of the Council and resolved to extend the appointment of HE Sheikh Jameel bin Ibrahim Al-Hejailan as Secretary - General of the GCC for another three years beginning from 1st of April 1999 AD, wishing for His Excellency success in his endeavors during the coming period.
HE Dr. Ghazi bin Abdul Rahman Al - Qosaibi's candidacy for the Post of the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Supreme Council welcomed HE Dr. Ghazi bin Abdul Rahman Al - Qosaibi's candidacy, who is currently the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Great Britain, for the post of the Director - General of UNESCO, for which elections will be held at the United Nations Headquarters during the 157th session in the month of October 1999 AD.
The Council expressed its satisfaction at the support of the Arab countries for this candidacy during the Conference of the Arab Ministers of Education and Training held recently at Tripoli in the Libyan Arab Republic, endorsing HE. Dr. Ghazi bin Abdul Rahman Al - Qosaibi as the candidate of the Arab countries, and expressed its hope that all the friendly countries all over the world would support and back this nomination.
The Supreme Council expressed its immense appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al - Nahayan , President of the State of the UAE, and to his Government and the people for the kind reception, warm welcome, generous hospitality and the spirit of brotherhood which have been accorded to the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, praising the excellent arrangements made for hosting this meeting.
The leaders of the GCC have also extolled the great role played by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al - Nahayan, President of the State of the UAE and Chairman of the current session of the Supreme Council, in facilitating the meetings, a matter which had greatest impact on reaching the important decisions and outcomes in line with the aspirations of the peoples of the GCC states.
The Supreme Council presents its greetings and wishes to His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al - Nahayan, President of the State of the UAE and his people on the occasion of the 27th National Day, wishing for the State of the UAE constant progress and prosperity.
The leaders of the Supreme Council expressed their happiness at the winning of the International Peace Prize by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed, Sultan of Oman, seizing the opportunity to express their sincere congratulations to His Majesty, considering especially, what this award represents in terms of global appreciation for the wise policies of His Majesty and his role in serving and promoting the causes of regional and international peace.
The Supreme Council lauded the sincere efforts exerted by His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al - Ahmad Al - Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, during his Chairmanship of the 18th session of the Supreme Council and the wisdom and authority manifested by His Highness in managing and following up the blessed process.
The Supreme Council looks forward to meeting in its 20th session, Allah Willing, in the month of December 1999 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in response to the gracious invitation by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia.
Issued in Abu Dhabi
20 Shaa'ban 1419 AH
9 December 1998 AD
The Abu Dhabi Declaration
Issued at the Nineteenth Session of the Supreme Council
Abu Dhabi - The State of the UAE
20 Shaa'ban 1419AH / 9 December 1998 AD
With guidance from our true religion and our tolerant Shariah (Islamic Law), and based on the goals and objectives of the Charter of the League of Arab States and the Founding Charter of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC);
Having faith in the common destiny of the Arab nation and in the unbreakable linkages between the Arab peoples;
Having faith also in the fact that the path for realizing a better future for the Arab nation lies in strong adherence to the goals and principles which have been enunciated by the Charters and resolutions of the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations (UN) so as to avoid the negative aspects of the past that have led to the state of division and rift; and
Recognizing that the preservation of the Arab characteristics and the protection of the vital interests of the Arab nation and the meeting of future challenges cannot be achieved except by effective Arab solidarity built on the Arab legality and Islamic belief; and
Convinced of the strong correlation between the national interests of individual Arab States and Arab Nationalism; and the objective link between the national security of the individual Arab countries and the collective security of the Arab nation; and
With a view to strengthening the values and principles of the collective Arab action based on the sincerity of intentions, commitment to legality, national sovereignty, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs, non-recourse to force or threatening to use it and instilling mutual interdependence between the Arab countries; and
Deducing lessons which are being put forward with a natural force by the political and economic changes at the international level and the ongoing transformations in the international relations; and
Recognizing the importance of preparing the ground for collective Arab action in order to meet the challenges emerging from the effects of international changes for the Arab countries together with the elimination of the negative aspects of the past;
The Supreme Council of the GCC States, therefore, in its session held in Abu Dhabi, the State of the UAE, discussed the current Arab situation with spirit of great responsibility and with the sincere desire to realize a better future, declares its determination to:
First: To work towards strengthening the inter- Arab relations in accordance with the firmly established Arab, Islamic and international values, principles and charters with which the Arab nation could rebuild Arab solidarity.
Second: To exert continuous efforts to rebuild the inter- Arab relations on the sound bases of security, tranquility and confidence.
Third: To work towards building effective Arab solidarity on firm grounds based on commitment to the values and principles collective Arab action.
Fourth: To develop the collective Arab action in order to realize the aspirations of the Arab countries for development, construction, security and stability, and to prepare the Arab region to meet the demands of the political, economic and international changes, and to secure the ingredients of material, moral and spiritual advancement in the life of the peoples of the Arab nations.
Issued at Abu Dhabi
20 Shaa'ban 1419 AH
9 December 1998 AD